Wednesday, March 08, 2017

IRL : Calls for tests to be carried out at second site in Tuam

Update 7.40pm: There are calls for tests to be carried out in Tuam, where the Bon Secours sisters ran a hospital.

RTÉ reports that there are calls for the tests to be carried out at a former burial site as the HSE has secured approval for extensive works at the old Grove hospital in Tuam.

Claims have been made that children were buried on the site from 1950 to 1970.

The area is a different location to the former Mother and Baby home in the town.

4.10pm: The President is commending Catherine Corless for her work in exposing the Tuam babies scandal. 

Michael D Higgins has described last week's revelations of a mass grave at a former mother and baby home in the Galway town as horrifying. 

The President says he hopes the commission of inquiry into Mother and Baby homes will put the truth on the record. 

Michael D Higgins says he would like to see it do so in a way that respects the memory of these children, their families, and their mothers.

2.40pm: Simon Coveney says he is concerned extending the terms of the current commission of inquiry into Mother and Baby homes will delay its findings. 

Earlier the Taoiseach said there needs to be a period of reflection on what Ireland does as a nation in response to the scandal. 

The Government's been urged to expand to include all facilities in the state in the current inquiry in the wake of the Tuam revelations in recent days. 

However speaking to Midlands 103 Minister Coveney says we cannot delay the investigation: "The current commission is half-way through its work in relation to 14 mother and baby homes. Then I think another four county homes as well.

"I mean if there are other Mother and Baby homes that need investigation, then of course we need to provide for that.

"But I am not sure that the right way to do that is to extend the remit of the current commission because they hope to have their work finalised by next February."

Earlier: A group representing mother-and-baby home survivors says it has called for a meeting with the Taoiseach, but has not received a response yet.

Enda Kenny said yesterday that what has been uncovered in Tuam needs to be dealt with now, and described it as a "chamber of horrors".

The Taoiseach blamed society for the scandal, saying we did not just hide away the dead bodies of tiny human beings, but dug deep to bury our compassion, mercy and humanity itself. 

Paul Redmond, a spokesperson for the Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors, said that the Dáil speech is not enough.

"I have very little faith in political speeches from practically anybody in the Government," he said. "Actions speak louder than words, it really is that simple. It's fine to make a speech, but we’re calling for a meeting with the Taoiseach at the moment - haven't had a response yet."

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